Canal Charge

Chandi Dharmaratne

ISMAILIYA, Egypt, Dec 30, 2007 (AFP) – Transit fees for ships using Egypt’s Suez Canal will increase in 2008 by an average of 7.1 percent, the canal authority said on Sunday.

Fees will rise by 5.7 percent for container ships, by 7.3 percent for oil tankers and by 10.5 percent for natural gas ships, authority chief Ahmed Ali Fadel told reporters in the canal city of Ismailiya.

Passenger ships’ fees will increase by 5.2 percent, naval vessels will see a 10 percent increase and all other types of ships will increase by 5 percent, Fadel added.

The authority, which has run the canal since its nationalisation in 1956, last raised transit fees in April 2007.

The Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, is Egypt’s third largest source of revenue, after tourism and remittances from expatriate workers. Fadel said he expected canal revenues to reach 4.6 billion dollars in 2007, the highest ever.